Education stands divide candidates for Mississippi Legislature

Democratic chairman Rickey Cole said his party hopes to cut into the Republicans’ sizeable advantages in both the House and Senate.

“Whether that gets us to a majority in either chamber, only time will tell,” he said. “The math out there is in our favor to gain seats in the House and the Senate. And we have some first-rate, top-quality candidates all over the state.”

He said several of those swept into office in the Tea Party wave now face primary opponents, and if they prevail there, will face strong Democratic candidates.

“We have eight or nine chances to pick up Republican seats,” he said. “On the House side there are close to two-dozen Republican seats that will be competitive.”

Republicans hold a 67-54 advantage in the House and a 32-20 advantage in the Senate.

The difference on education

Cole said the line has been drawn on education.

“Democratic candidates all favor full funding of public education,” he said. “I don’t know of any Democratic candidates for the Legislature that aren’t supportive of Initiative 42.

“Most of the Republican members are on the opposite side of that.”